Montague, MI (12/29/2022)

Yesterday we left Montague for Traverse City to begin the end of our Michigan holiday visit. And in the morning, I had about tenish minutes to explore outside our AirB&B house before we had to head out.

We’d seen Common Ravens and presumably Eastern Gray Squirrels in the tall trees behind the house. But I heard numerous bird sounds in the front, so I spent most of my time there after documenting new tracks in the snow.

And I saw plenty in about seven minutes or so! Unfortunately, they were mostly far away so my photos aren’t great. But for birds I don’t see often, they’re worth saving.

A group of maybe three (or four?) Tufted Titmouses were chattering and chasing each other. At least one Black-capped Chickadee was above me. They sound a lot like Chestnut-backed Chickadees! One White-breasted Nuthatch worked its way on tree branches and eventually found something that it maybe stuffed into a hole in a branch? For later? That’s what it looked like to me!

Then I heard a bird sound I didn’t recognize. Merlin’s Sound ID feature indicated a Northern Cardinal! Looked for the red bird and found it across the street high up in a tree. If it hadn’t been a brilliant red I don’t think I would’ve found it at all.

Heard another bird sound behind the house, but what looked like a small Woodpecker flew out and away too soon for me to ID it.

I didn’t bring my binoculars to Michigan, and even though I hardly spent any time Naturing while there, I wish I had packed them after all. Finding hardtofind birds with a digital camera just doesn’t cut it. It’d have been worth it. Next time.

So, yeah. Disappointed that the blizzard and then Brian’s cold kept me from more time exploring Michigan’s outdoors. But the three days of snow that produced a white xmas for me was fantastic. Ya win some, ya lose some.

And I’m still looking forward to trying to ID the snow tracks I saw when I get home. I’m writing this out from my phone while flying from Chicago to SFO! And now I have many bookmarked places to Nature in next time I’m out there. Next time!

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